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Old 11-01-2008, 05:57 AM   #1
olliets
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Registered: Oct 2008
Location: Lyon, FR
Distribution: ubuntu 8-04
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Question ASUS M51-Se-AS018C: Cannot install Linux: Radeon HD 3470 problems -> cannot use X


Hi all,

The issue:
I'm trying to install any distro of Linux on my relatively new ASUS M51-Se AS018C (came out 2008-05). I've tried the latest versions of SUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu - they all fail to install or run completely because X cannot be initiated or configured. This is my first time trying to install Linux; I've tried my best and I need help.

Where I get to:
I've stuck to trying SUSE 11.0 at the moment. I can do the install in text-only mode, but at some point after installing the bare necessities to get to runlevel 3 (console-like mode, no graphics), it tries to call X somehow and crashes and restarts. I can then boot into runlevel 3 and login as root and do things, use links to get on the net in text-only mode, read my other hard drive partitions...

Hardware Problem:
There is a known problem with these ASUS models because the ATI drivers for the graphics card are not included in any linux distro. I've looked on the forums for several flavours of Linux and spent days trying the fixes listed there (see below) - no success. I hate Windows and I really, really want to get Linux running. Please help.

Relevant Hardware - 3GB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470
Display - 15.4" WXGA+, 1440x900 max res
Other specs - Intel C2D T8300, Intel PM965 Express Chipset +ICH8M

What I have tried:
1 - limiting memory to 2900M during installation: no difference.

2 - In YaST (the Suse package manager) during install, trying to download the ATI/fglrx driver package x11-video-fglrx. This is not allowed as the necessary modules (something like kernel-kmp-xxx) "cannot" be obtained from the installation DVD, or the ATI repository; I have however installed the kernel-source package already.

3 - Following the instructions at opensuse.org/ATI

After "installation", downloading packages I've been told to get - opensuse.org/ATI#The_Hard_Way - then downloading the latest ATI drivers (currently ati-driver-installer-8-10-x86.x86_64.run), then either creating my SUSE110-AMD64 specific RPM and running
Code:
rpm -Uhv <my-RPM>
or
Code:
rpm -Uh --force <my-RPM>
: These seem to work, and the fglrx-install.log file shows no big errors. I goto lib/modules/fglrx and run make_install.sh, I run aticonfig (it doesn't tell me anything but it doesn't hang), and I remake the kernel with fglrx-kernel-build.sh, and I reboot... no change.


Just running the ATI installer and choosing 'Option 1: Install Driver Automatically' gives me an error message 80% the way through, saying I already have a ati-fglrx.so file in
/usr/X11R6/lib64/modules/dri/
whether I do OR when I don't (after removing it)
and then aborts the install.

I don't really know what's going on. Perhaps because I've tried to install these drivers so many times I've stuffed something up; or perhaps I've overlooked some package I should have gotten. Can anyone tell me where to look to identify my problem, or if anyone at all has installed Linux on their ASUS M51 series, please tell me HOW! I've spent ages on this... a big learning experience, but it would be more fun to learn about Linux once it was actually working, rather than by trying to install it.

I would happily once more wipe out completely what I've installed and do a clean install if only I could be sure of getting it right.

Thanks very much,
Ollie
 
Old 11-01-2008, 09:04 AM   #2
Bruce Hill
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Welcome to LQ!

Maybe this will help a bit ...

Two more links that I forgot ... sorry, I run only Nvidia.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...in-x11-402003/

http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/ATI...ackbuild_(ENG)

Last edited by michaelk; 11-02-2008 at 11:54 AM.
 
Old 11-01-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
olliets
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Registered: Oct 2008
Location: Lyon, FR
Distribution: ubuntu 8-04
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Thanks Bruce,
I will try doing the BIOS change (this is from pressing Esc/F2 at system startup right?):
Quote:
* Change to Internal or ATI Graphics with Config --> Display --> Graphics Device --> [Integrated graphics] or [Discrete Graphics]
* Disable OS Detection for Switchable Graphics. Otherwise it will mysteriously switch back to Switchable Graphics.
However, the first link says that he installed linux completely before he changed his graphics card to the HD 3470... I don't have another graphics card lying around to install linux with!
Quote:
Then I booted with the ATI Graphics [HD 3470], which was no problem, because the radeon driver works very well, but only in 2D.
After installing fglrx packages, jockey also found out, that proprietary drivers are available. So i let him configure my xorg.conf:...
Anyway I'll give it a try and let you know.

(Note: The second link didn't really apply (it's for getting 3D graphics once you have 2D... I only have a text-based system so far!) and the third is dead.)
Thanks
Ollie
 
Old 11-01-2008, 02:24 PM   #4
tomtomjkw
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Registered: Jan 2008
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What makes your HD3470 different than mine ?
Did you try to set X with xorgconfig?
 
Old 11-01-2008, 05:36 PM   #5
Bruce Hill
HCL Maintainer
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Tupelo, MS
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 6,926

Rep: Reputation: 124Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by olliets View Post
However, the first link says that he installed linux completely before he changed his graphics card to the HD 3470... I don't have another graphics card lying around to install linux with!
In my understanding of that, "succeeding to have 3D on onboard Graphics"
means the "Integrated graphics"; and "2D on ATI Graphics" would therefore
mean the "Discrete Graphics".

I don't have such in my laptop(s) to check, but that is what I gathered from
reading that post and others like it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by olliets View Post
the third is dead
Something about the URL code tag removed the last ) from that link,
it should be:
Code:
http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/ATI-Wiki-Slackbuild_(ENG)

Last edited by Bruce Hill; 11-01-2008 at 05:49 PM.
 
Old 11-12-2008, 06:22 AM   #6
olliets
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Registered: Oct 2008
Location: Lyon, FR
Distribution: ubuntu 8-04
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Thanks Bruce and Tomtom,
I fixed these problems now. For anyone who wants to do the same on this model, this is how.

---------------

I thought my problems were linked to the video card and driver. They aren't, at least not directly.

The source of the problems is having the two channels of RAM (disable the quiet BIOS boot using Esc/F2 at startup and you'll see the BIOS goes into something like 'dual-channel L-shaped mode' when these RAM chips are both in place), which NO linux distro I tried can handle: OpenSuSE, fedora, ubuntu... I know that people who had 2x2GB chips (model M51Se-AS128C I think) also had problems.

Solution: Take out one RAM chip and the whole system just works. LiveCDs all boot in and run. There is no need to install any other drivers, your desktop goes straight up (although if you later use a package manager to get the ATI proprietary drivers... grr... they work really well and you'll get full, very pretty 1440x900 resolution, and good LCD-oriented subpixel smoothing, which you might not get otherwise but which make it look lots better). I tried the "mem=2900M" memory limiting option at boot with the two bars in place as some people recommend, but this never worked. Perhaps you should try "mem=1900M" but this is equivalent to taking out the 1GB chip in terms of performance, and still may not work if your BIOS goes into dual-channel mode, I don't know. Anyway I took out the 1GB HyperMemory bar I had and yeah everything just worked.

Anyone else with a similar laptop:

New problem: There is no sound through any Linux distro.

New solution: See http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=864801
and http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=753679
: They recommend adding
Code:
options snd-hda-intel enable=1 index=0 model=lenovo
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
to your /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base to run sound through ALSA. Other people say you can run sound through OSS, but I didn't try it. Let us know if you do.


At the moment I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 (64 bit) on it and dual booting with BadVista because I need to run some proprietary chemistry programs I don't know how to port over to use on Linux (anyone have advice here?). Vista can deal with the dual channel memory mode; and as it eats performance it would be cool to be able to memory limit in GRUB for Linux, so you could leave the extra bar in to help Windows limp along - if you manage to make this work let me know. Although Linux runs so smoothly on "just" 2GB RAM, that you shouldn't feel cheated by having a useless ram bar when you use Linux. Apparently some people are working on memory channel handling for new distro releases so that the trend to high-RAM dual-core computers doesn't stop you chucking in lots of RAM.

Other issue with this model:
-Does your flavour of Linux let you use the wireless killswitch to reversibly toggle the wireless? Apparently Ubuntu 8-10 does not, which is why I stuck to 8-04 (works there apparently).
- People talk about a possibility of updating the BIOS so that memory handling could work better. I have no idea what this means, or how to do it, or if I should... anyone?

Hope this helps other people who love up Linux and were wasting their lives trying anything to get it on this computer!


Crosslink (in French)
http://forum.ubuntu-fr.org/viewtopic.php?pid=2142925
apparently someone (post #42) got mem=2900M to work and left his two bars in... I didn't, nor did post #53. Anyone?

Enjoy!
 
  


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